Week 5: Advising and Support Network

Ready, Set, Oberlin! A week-by-week guide to prepare for your arrival

Issue #5

Advising and Support Network

From the moment you arrive at Oberlin, you will have access to a personalized support network. This network includes your academic advisor and peer mentors who will support you both inside and outside the classroom. You will also have access to the full breadth of student support resources available to all Oberlin students. You’ll continue to learn about these resources throughout the summer and once you arrive on campus. 

Your Academic Advisor 

Every new Obie is assigned an academic advisor. This person will become one of your most important resources while navigating Oberlin. All advisors are faculty or staff members who are invested in supporting you holistically. In the conservatory, your studio teacher is often, although not always, your advisor. You will first meet with your academic advisor during New Student Orientation. At this meeting, you will finalize your schedule for the fall semester and plan ahead for other opportunities that Oberlin offers.

You will continue to meet with your advisor throughout your first semester to discuss academic pathways and strategies for success. In addition to supporting you academically, your advisor can help connect you with campus resources, student organizations, and other faculty members whose courses you may be interested in taking.  

Student in Labratory

‌Your Peer Advising Leader (PAL)

At Oberlin, we like to say that every new student has a PAL. PALs are upper-class students trained to help you successfully navigate academic and experiential learning opportunities during your first semester and beyond. PAL uses a cohort-based model to support your transition to Oberlin. In the Arts & Sciences, each cohort shares a class through the First-Year Seminar Program; in the Conservatory, cohorts include students from across all performance areas and disciplines to ensure that you have strong social connections inside and outside your studio.

Throughout New Student Orientation, your PAL will help you prepare to meet your academic advisor and finalize your course schedule, guide you through a daylong trip into Cleveland, provide resources for a successful first semester, and more. For Arts & Sciences students, the PAL experience continues into the fall semester through the credit-bearing course “LEAD 050: Introduction to Oberlin Life and Learning.” 

Nathan Carpenter Studying with Students

‌Your Success Coach

The Center for Student Success (CSS) offers holistic, comprehensive support to each student and provides purposeful and enriching co-curricular learning and developmental opportunities during their collegiate experience. 

As part of the Center for Student Success (CSS) each Oberlin incoming student receives an assigned success coach. The Center for Student Success offers Success Coaching for any Obie who desires one-on-one support. The purpose of Success Coaching is to aid students in leveraging their strengths to achieve self-defined success. Success Coaching is an empowering process that helps students identify potential stressors or barriers to their educational success and co-creates solutions to overcome them.  Coaches work hand in hand with the student to create a success plan that will help them achieve their personal, academic, or professional goals. 

Success Coaches can help students with: 

  • Social Integration 
  • Transitional Stressors 
  • Resiliency 
  • Time Management 
  • Goal Setting 
  • Study Skills 
  • Self Care 
  • College Resources 

Success Coaches are trained and certified professional staff members who are committed to cultivating a sense of belonging and safe space for all students at Oberlin College and Conservatory. If you’re interested in Success Coaching to help ease you into the collegiate experience, you can book an appointment or email us at css@oberlin.edu for more information.

Students at CSS Open House

‌Your Resident Assistant

Your residential community at Oberlin will be an important part of your first-year experience. Whether you choose to live in a First-Year Residential Experience community, an identity-based community, a language house, a themed space, or traditional housing, you will have a Resident Assistant (RA) who is committed to helping you feel supported and welcomed. 

All RAs are fellow students who serve as leaders and community-builders in their residential communities. Throughout the year, your RA will help you navigate important processes like creating roommate agreements, host events to help you get to know your fellow residents, and serve as a general resource for any questions you may have. RA in Room with Resident